Children shun sport and physical activity in favour of mobiles

In a recent survey by Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps, a shocking 86 percent of parents think that mobile phones have replaced physical activity and sport in their children’s lives.

According to this research, children in Ireland spend almost two hours each day on a mobile device and 15 percent are spending more than three hours on their phones.

Given the growth in mobile phone use by younger generations, the study looked at the possible benefits of restricting mobile phone use. Research showed that limiting the time children spend on their mobiles makes them more likely to be active, spend more time socialising with friends and have a better relationship with their family.

Mobile phone ownership has become the norm for children in Ireland with 99 percent of 13 to 15 year olds, 63 percent of 8 to 12 year olds and nearly one in five children under the age of eight owning a mobile device.

According to the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps research, parents think that the main benefits of summer camps are that they encourage children to be more active, they help children to make new friends and they get them away from their mobile devices

Commenting on the findings, Pat Daly, GAA Director of Games commented, "the increasing importance of wellbeing and life-learning (WeLL ) is an emerging phenomenon within Irish society.

But as the Kellogg’s research study has shown, technology is also developing into one of the biggest influences on children. Technology has a role to play in a child’s development, but not at the expense of physical and social activities. That is why initiatives such as Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps are so important, as they support and foster the concept of WeLL from an early age.”

A record-breaking 142,467 children took part in a Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camp last year and the organisation hopes to continue their work with making Irish children more active and mentally well, away from screens and mobiles.

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